Grid Game: Using a 5x5 grid with all words randomly placed, students seek to connect adjacent pairs or compose analogies, which must be voted as valid by other teams. in teams
"Categories": I post a heading such as "Friends and enemies" and they see how many words connect to this idea. I usually expect about 4-6 and they generally find good connections for 12 or more.
Hand motions: They silently act out a meaning with "hand puppets" (their own empty hands). This leads to some connections as gestures are similar despite different contexts.
Number Line: For words with similar meanings, we make a greater/less than chart by plotting words on a continuum. For example, Aloft, Bouyant, Burrow, Submerge, etc. placed relative to distance from ground level.